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Cybersecurity: More urgent than ever for your Financial life

Earlier this summer, I had interviewed Dr. Chenxi Wang, a Cybersecurity expert on the implications of latest technology developments to cybersecurity. Dr. Wang, who has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and has created “chenxification”- a noted code obfuscation technique, has taught at Carnegie Mellon university and held several executive IT roles (Forrester, McAfee Intel Security, Twistlock, etc.). My focus was more on understanding implications of developments in ML, AI, IoT — and the continuous production of data that creates a digital footprint — to our financial life. After all, in today’s world of digital ubiquity, a household’s finances are managed digitally — either by the individual or by their financial service provider. And in fact, with growing prevalence of ‘digital identity’, an individual’s digital data is all set to emerge as a highly valuable asset that businesses, governments and other establishments will fight for ownership/ use.

During our discussion, we spoke about several topics that are fundamental (and some may call rudimentary) to understanding the nuances of cybersecurity. What does a cybersecurity strategy entail? How can data breaches occur at service providers? How can average consumers safeguard their digital identity even as we continue increase our digital footprint? etc.

Since Dr. Wang’s insights can be very valuable to average consumers, financial services professionals (non-IT team members) and to anyone who’d like to educate themselves more on safeguarding their digital identity, I am publishing those individual videos.

PS: To hear more about Dr. Chenxi Wang’s professional background and what got her interested in cybersecurity, click here.

Why is there an urgency for cybersecurity now?

Financial services, and other industries, have been gathering and storing consumer data digitally for quite sometime now. Why all this urgency for cybersecurity now? Dr. Wang answers that in the below segment

How do data breaches occur?

How is consumer data usually stored and accessed at service provider organizations? What could go wrong and lead to data breaches? Dr. Wang shared some thoughts here:

How can an average consumer protect and safeguard their digital identity?

This is what most consumers need to be aware of and need to thinking about. In this segment, she provided simple tips on safeguarding our digital identity as an average consumer when using digital devices. She also talked about being a ‘wise’ smartphone apps user and, how we should stay alert about the data being collected through AI devices (e.g. voice-based personal assistants) entering our houses.

If you are a non-IT student/ professional, would recommend watching this segment.

Based on what I have learned, there is not much that we, as average consumers, could have done to avert a data compromise situation like that of Equifax’s. This is the service provider’s responsibility.

What the impact of IoT on cybersecurity?

IoT => more data => more digital footprint. Is that good or bad for cybersecurity? Dr. Wang had an interesting perspective to this question in this below segment:

AI can definitely make cybersecurity better right?

Listen to Dr.Wang’s response in this segment.

Though is not one of our ‘typical’ financial services or fintech blog post, since cybersecurity is a very critical and indispensable part of our financial lives, wanted to bring you insights from an expert. Hoping these insights make us more savvy digital consumers.

PS: For such ‘FinTech Speak’ videos visit our Youtube channel.

[Author is the the founder and CEO of S2E consulting, a strategy and execution consulting firm serving Financial Services and FinTech industry.]

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